HE FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT marks an increase in tempo in most families. The shops are well into the swing of the silly season, the calendar is littered with end of year parties and concerts and Christmas cards begin to appear.
Once, or so I’m told, there were many popular feast days kept all around the year. Now it seems that they all telescope into the month of December. We have St Nicholas’ Day on the 6th, the Immaculate Conception on the 8th, St Lucy on the 13th, each with amazing possibilities for special food and minor rituals. Then there are Advent calendars, Jesse Trees and nativity scenes to consider.
Fisheaters gives a good Advent Overview, but like all customs it is worth bearing in mind that many of these are trimmings. These are not the essentials. There is a lot of latitude for finding our own family’s balance at this time of year.
The photo is our advent wreath for this year. Instead of our usual conglomeration of greenery from the garden we have a synthetic substitute. Much more compact but lacks the fun of dried leaves catching on fire during the family rosary. If this one burns it will smell awful.
How do you keep Advent?
(Happy St Andrew’s Day too!)